The Los Angeles County Fire Department reminds residents that today is the deadline for all homeowners to bring their properties into compliance with the County’s brush clearance requirements.
Today also kicks off the beginning of the brush inspection period in coastal areas. These inspections are part of the Department’s effort to save life and property from wildfire during fire season by reducing the amount of flammable vegetation around a home, which also provides a safe zone for firefighters to operate in during a wildfire. Property owners were notified in February that the Department would begin its annual inspection of more than 40,000 homes throughout Los Angeles County on April 1.
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During brush clearance inspections, firefighters will visit each property to inspect it for weeds, combustible debris and dead or dying vegetation that may present a potential fire hazard. Homeowners whose properties are found to be non-compliant with brush clearance codes may have their properties mitigated by the County, resulting in several fines. To help property owners comply with County brush clearance codes, the Department’s website offers a free list of local companies currently providing hazard reduction services: http://fire.lacounty.gov/Forestry/BrushManagementHazardReduction Contractors.asp.
Residents who choose to perform their own brush clearance on their property are urged to conduct their activities in the early morning hours, when humidity is high and temperatures are low. “We’ve had a number of fires over the years due to residents clearing their brush in high temperatures and low humidity,” says Los Angeles County Fire Department Deputy Chief John Todd. “Many fires are accidentally started by the sparking of metal tools and blades during the hottest part of the day.”
In addition to the annual brush inspections, the Department’s Fuel Modification Program helps protect newly-constructed homes and developments by requiring vegetation to be planted in zones around structures. Residents are urged to select plantings from an approved list to help prevent wildfire from jumping from one fuel source to another and eventually to a home.
For questions and information about brush clearance, residents can contact the Department’s Brush Clearance Unit at (626) 969-2375 or call their local fire station.